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Stories from the Stage

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Artbound

Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser

Artbound presents "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser," a special episode showcasing a new opera in partnership with the Grand Central Arts Center that considers the usage of "female hysteria" throughout the decades. Vireo is the brainchild of long-time collaborators, composer Lisa Bielawa and librettist Erik Ehn. Through the GCAC artist-in-residence program, Bielawa and Ehn worked with director Charlie Otte to re-conceptualize the work, originally conceived as a traditional opera, into the format of a twelve-part broadcast series, to be filmed in front of a live audience, conducted by Bielawa.

"Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser" debuted in March 2015 on KCET.

Discover more about Vireo:

Episodic Opera: Composer Lisa Bielawa on Vireo
"Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser," is a new opera that considers the nature and uses of female hysteria through time. Composer Lisa Bielawa discusses the inspiration behind the innovative work.

Librettist Erik Ehn on Writing "Vireo"
"Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser" is based on research done by composer Lisa Bielawa did on the history of female hysteria for her college thesis.

A History of Hysteria in Art, Film, and Literature
A look at the history of hysteria in the Western psyche, in relation to "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser"

Kronos Quartet on the Sound of "Vireo"
The Kronos Quartet created the music that accompanies the performers on "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser."

Watch: Vireo's production team gives behind-the-scenes insights about the opera:

First Person: Composer Lisa Bielawa on 'Vireo'

First Person: Director Charlie Otte on 'Vireo'

First Person: Grand Central Art Center Curator John Spiak on 'Vireo'

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